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About Prakasam District

Prakasam District (Telugu: ప్రకాశం జిల్లా) is an administrative district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in India. The district headquarters is located at Ongole City. The district occupies an area of 17,626 km² and has a population of 3,392,7640 as of 2011 Census.

Etymology

It was named as Prakasam district on 12 May 1972, in memory of the great patriot and Andhra Leader, Tanguturi Prakasam Panthulu, also known as Andhra Kesari (Lion of Andhra ) who was born in Vinodarayunipalem village near Ammanabrolu of this district.

History

Prakasam District’s past stretches back to the days when it was ruled by the Mauryas from 250 B.C. The rise of the Satavahanas saw Buddhism flourish in the region and the construction of several stupas. The Ikshvakus, Vijayanagar Kings,  Kakatiyas, Qutub Shahis, Mughals,  Addanki Reddy Rajas, Chundi Rajas, Ongole Samsthanam Kings and Pellur Rajas later followed these rulers.

Prakasam district was originally constituted on 2 nd February 1970, carved out of Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh.  It was carved out of three taluks of Guntur District, i.e. Addanki, Chirala and Ongole, four taluks of Nellore district, i.e. Kandukur, Kanigiri, Podili and Darsi and three taluks of Kurnool district i.e. Markapur, Cumbum and Giddaluru. It is one of the nine districts in the Coastal Andhra region of Andhra Pradesh.

Geography

Prakasam District occupies an area of 17,626 square kilometres (6,805 sq mi), comparatively equivalent to Indonesia’s Seram Island.

The only one Municipal Corporation in Prakasam is Ongole. Some of the main towns in Prakasam district are Singarayakonda, Addanki, Inkollu, Markapur, Yerragondapalem, Podili, Darsi, Chirala, Kandukur, Parchur, Giddaluru, Podili, Dornala, Cumbum, Kanigiri, Chimakurthi and Martur. Markapur is India’s main slate manufacturing town where the historic temple of Lord Chennakesava is situated. Chimakurthi is world renowned for its granite reserves. Dornala is also known as diguva Srisailam, since it is very near the historic pilgrimage center of Srisailam.

Cumbum lake, also known as Gundalakamma lake, built on Gundalakamma rivulet upon Nallamala hills, is one of the oldest man made lakes of Asia. The anicut was built by the Gajapati kings of Orissa in 15th century AD when the area was under their control. It was subsequently renovated by the Vijayanagar princess Varadharajamma. The lake in its present form is about 7 km long and on average, about 3.5 km wide. As per the Imperial gazette of India, at the turn of 20th century the height of the dam was 57 feet (17 m) and the drainage area was 430 square miles (1,100 km2). The direct irrigation land was about 10,300 acres (42 km2) in all.

Demographics

According to the 2011 census Prakasam District has a population of 3,392,764, roughly equal to the nation of Panama or the US state of Connecticut.  This gives it a ranking of 98th in India (out of a total of 640).  The district has a population density of 192 inhabitants per square kilometre (500 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 10.9 %. Prakasam has a sex ratio of 981 females for every 1000 males,  and a literacy rate of 63.53 %.